A nearly 35-pound trout caught in Southeast Idaho early last week was not a triploid rainbow trout. Rather, genetic testing revealed it was a cuttbow.
“We did verify that it was a hybrid,” said David Teuscher, Idaho Department of Fish & Game regional fisheries manager in Pocatello. “It had a cutthroat trout mother and a rainbow trout father.”
At a whopping 34.75 pounds, 41 1/8 inches long and 27 1/8 inches around, the trout, caught by angler Mark Adams of Pocatello at American Falls Reservoir on July 26, is the new state record for that category in IDFG’s books.
According to Rich Landers at the Spokane Spokesman-Review, the fish was caught on a jig and 10-pound-test line.
It is also 10 pounds heavier than the previous high mark for cuttbows, a 24-pound, 35 1/2-inch-long, 24 1/2-inch-around specimen caught at Lake Pend Oreille in 1991.
Where Adams’ fish came from is not entirely clear, though there are at least two distinct possibilities: It was born in a hatchery (several state facilities produce hybrid cuttbows) and released into the reservoir; it was produced in the wild upstream of American Falls and settled in the lake.
Either way, it’s a “first generation” hybrid, meaning its mama was 100 percent cuttie and daddy was 100 percent ‘bow.
Looking at the fish’s gonads, Teuscher termed them “underdeveloped” and said there’s a high probability it was sterile, which would point to a hatchery origin. Many cuttbows produced in the wild are “viable,” he says.
“The origin is unknown,” Teuscher says. “It could be from a number of origins, including a hatchery.”
Scientists were able to determine from the fish’s otolith that it was just 6 years old, meaning it clearly benefited from life in the massive lake.
“It’s one of the most productive reservoirs in the state,” says Teuscher, pointing to prolific insect life.
Meanwhile, 200 miles downstream from American Falls and two days after Adams hooked his whopper, Scott Frazier II of Kuna, Idaho, took a 67-pound common carp during a bowfishing tournament at CJ Strike Reservoir.
It measures 47 inches long and 34 1/2 inches around, tops the previous state record by 20 pounds and according to IDFG, is only a few pounds under the all-tackle world record for the species.
According to a press release from the agency, Frazier and his partner in the tourney Brian Pokorney initially estimated the fish they spied 5 feet below the surface at around 30 pounds.
He plans to have the fish mounted and hung on his wall.
“This is one of the most exciting things I’ve ever experienced,” he said, according to the press release.